My baby sister got married this weekend. I cried like a baby during the ceremony. She was glowingly beautiful. Bride magazine cover worthy. Here’s the play by play:
Let’s start back at Friday. Friday was a good day too. I started out the morning with a 5 mile run. Love running. Clears the head. Then after a quick shower and the last of the packing, Krystle and I were off. We had a spa day on the agenda. Love massages! My only problem this time was the room I was in was next to the pedicure area and every once in a while there would be laughter or conversation breaking my tranquil peacefulness. Then there was a yummy lunch and then it was pedicure and manicure time! Spa days are great. I wish they came around more often! After the spa we drove to the hotel, checked in, unloaded the vehicles, changed our clothes, did our hair, greeted our Mom and brother (yay!) and walked over to rehearsal. The wedding was at Mill City Museum and the ceremony was outside in the courtyard. The rehearsal was a little chilly Friday night with temps in the 60′s and us in our dresses and short sleeves. We lined up outside on West River Parkway and then walked inside. Annika and James, as the flower girl and ring bearer, were to follow me, as matron of honor, down the aisle and then go sit by Gramme in the first row. And they did during the rehearsal. I explained to them what was going to happen, we practiced, now I just had to worry about Saturday. Cute and funny moment from rehearsal: While running through the ceremony part Jamesy decided he needed his own chair to sit on next to Grandpa so he went over to the other side of the aisle, grabbed a plastic chair and pulled it over so it was next to Grandpa and then he sat down. Then he got down and pulled the chair so it was touching Grandpa’s and climbed back up to cuddle with Grandpa. Next cute and funny story: While waiting for practice walking I explained to Annika and James what was going to happen and where they were to go. I said they could go sit by Daddy, Marcia, Grandpa, Gramme or Papa Merv. Jamesy immediately threw his hand in the air and yelled “I’m sitting by Grandpa!” as if to say “Dibs!” Too cute.
After rehearsal we walked over to The Old Spaghetti Factory for the grooms dinner. Dinner was of course yummy. Annika insisted on sitting by Gramme and James insisted on sitting by Grandpa. That worked out well! Kris and I basically had dinner to ourselves! Krystle and Pierce gave a nice speech thanking everyone for coming and being involved in the wedding. Krystle started the speech but got about three words in before she started crying and Pierce had to take over. Then they handed out the wedding party and parent gifts. I received a black purse, earrings and necklace. All for the big day of course. They were all so great! Annika received a Barbie dressed as a bride (big hit!), a Tinkerbell movie and a pink purse filled with lip gloss and nail polish. Score! James received the Wall-E movie and a car/ramp toy. Another big hit! Dinner was over fairly early so I said good-bye to the kids and Kris and headed back to the hotel with Krystle, Heidi and Nicole.
We are such party animals that we changed clothes, went to the hotel bar for a drink (water for me) and then were tired so we went up to the room and watched a movie (Rachel Getting Married). And then we went to bed. Asleep by 11pm. Watch out for the crazy girls in the suite!
Krystle and I were up by 7:30am the next morning, got dressed and ran some errands. Krystle purchased breakfast and lunch items for us girls and the guys. We were back at the hotel by 9am. The make-up artist wasn’t supposed to arrive until 11am. Time to kill! Krystle was calm but restless if that makes any sense. I think she just wanted to get the show on the road. She kept busy by going to get ice for the cooler of water, taking pictures of me on the computer and generally putzing around the suite. Nicole and Heidi arrived with their hair done and Mom and Annika arrived too. My baby girl wasn’t the least bit excited to see me I think. She was way too excited to tell me all about how she got to ride in her car seat in Gramme’s car and how she talked, talked, talked the whole way down to the hotel. Then she wanted Gramme and Gramme only to color with her and play stickers with her at the table in the room. Mom was not needed.
I was first up for make-up. I think this was only the second time ever that I’ve had my make-up done professionally. The only other time? My own wedding. My make-up was fine but she had us all wear lip gloss which is very odd for me. I’m not used to that goopy, sticky feeling of lip gloss. I think I kept subconsciously wiping it off. Ah well. She used the same shade on all of us (with different pencil colors used underneath I think) so we all shared a lip gloss the rest of the day for reapplications.
After make-up I was in the chair for hair. I don’t usually go to a male hair dresser and I have to admit I was a little intimidated by him. Maybe that’s just because he has a healthy ego. Heh. Anyway, my hair turned out cute (half up) even if it didn’t stay in or curled the whole night. He may be good, but he can’t work magic!
After we were all fancied up it was time to move all my belongings plus Annika and James’ wedding attire to our hotel room so Gramme and Kris could get them dressed after I had left for pictures. Then it was time to get Krystle dressed. She was absolutely gorgeous! Her photographer was there and got some great pics of her in the room. He was such a monkey climbing all over furniture to get great shots. Those two left so Krystle could see Pierce privately and get pictures started. The rest of us girls got our dresses on and headed downstairs to wait for the wedding party pictures to begin.
We did a bunch of pictures at the hotel, Aloft. The hotel has a pretty cool lounge/bar/lobby area that we got some great pics in. Then we walked to a nearby park for pictures and then on to Mill City for family pics. The only snafu of the afternoon? Kris forgot his suit pants at home! He realized this at 3:45pm (after arriving downtown at his wife-mandated time of 3:30pm) and needed to be at Mill City with the kids at 4:15pm. No time to run home! So he went to Macy’s downtown and found the first pair of pants the kind of fit him and ran back. A $60 pair of Kenneth Cole pants later and he made it with time to spare. Great job Kris! Now don’t forget your pants next time, goof! Family pictures over and done with and then it was time to hide! Almost go time!
We all lined up at the back of Mill City and I reminded the kids again about what to expect. I still wasn’t very sure they’d walk down the aisle (which was entirely straight to the guests, not in between them like a traditional aisle). Mathias was first. He did have to make four trips back and forth, seating Great Grandma, Gramme, Marcia and then walking his bridesmaid Cara down. After he made his last trip and Pierce had walked down his parents and stayed down there waiting for us, it was time for the rest of us, first Nicole, then Heidi, then myself. My groomsman, Luke, was waiting with Pierce down at the end of the aisle. After I walked (and tried my hardest to smile through my choked up self) I got to my spot and turned around just in time to see my babies coming down the aisle. They did it! They did it perfectly! OK, they were a little off to one side but they held hands and walked slowly and did everything just right. I told Annika that she was the big sister and that she had to help Jamesy down the aisle and you could see her every so often whisper something to James, probably something like “C’mon Buddy.” And they walked right over to Gramme and sat down and waited for Grandpa to walk Krystle down the aisle.
And then I lost it. I was OK watching my own children come down but when Krystle turned that corner and I saw her crying? Goner. I should have had a tissue with me. Instead I just wiped away the tears as they fell. She was so beautiful. Dad gave her to Pierce and the ceremony started. I had to do a reading, a poem, and I’d practiced and wasn’t nervous at all. In fact I had read it for the girls (minus Krystle) before we put our dresses on. It went pretty well too. I only choked up once, when at the end of the second line I made the mistake of looking at Krystle. I just ignored her the rest of the poem and then it went fine! Their readings and vows were beautiful (I heard many comments on what a nice ceremony it was) and then it was time for the recessional. Party time!
I got my first glass of wine for the evening and started chatting with guests as they were dismissed and greeted by Krystle and Pierce. Then I had more pictures to take! The Stone Arch Bridge is nearby Mill City so the wedding party went out there for some last shots. I think those are going to turn out really cute as well. We finally made it back to the museum only to dash to our tables to officially start dinner. The guests had already been served their salads. We were gone for a little longer than anticipated I think. More wine and champage and a yummy dinner. Then there was my speech. I basically just stood up and winged it. I had made mental notes about a couple topics (hair braids, baby sister, soccer vs football, welcoming Pierce to family, etc.) and tried to intertwine jokes throughout. You know, as I get older I get more and more comfortable speaking in front of people. I kind of like being up there and the center of attention! Then Pierce’s brother gave a nice speech and we resumed dinner.
After dinner the dance started right away. With the wedding not starting until 6pm it made for a quick evening with one thing leading right into another. It was a bit of a whirlwind! I made it to the photobooth a half dozen times through the night. Krystle and Pierce rented a photobooth and used it as their guest book. It was a great idea and all the guests loved it! There was always a line to get pictures taken. Some of my favorite are of Kris and I, Krystle and I, Annika and I (Jamesy didn’t make it in the booth), and Amanda and I. My favorite one of all though? A close up side shot of Amanda’s belly. It is just so beautiful!
I didn’t see too much of the kids once the dance started. Why? Because no one could peel them off the dance floor of course! Why didn’t Jamesy make it into the photobooth? Because he passed out on the dance floor about 9pm. I could tell he was getting tired. I got a dance in with him laying his head on my chest then Uncle Dale came and took him from me. Minutes later he was passed out on Dale’s shoulder. I held him for a while after that, then Kris held him, then he slept on a bench for a while before my cousin Rachel took over and held him. I danced with Annika to Poker Face (Lady Gaga) of course. As soon as she heard the song come on she raced over to me and jumped in my arms. She was so happy and excited to be dancing all night long. That’s my little party girl! The rest of the time she was busy dancing with everyone and anyone who would dance with her. She too almost passed out on the dance floor though. She told me she was tired and wanted to go back to the hotel so I brought her to Gramme. Hey, Gramme volunteered to take them back to the hotel when they got tired so I took her up on that! Gramme wasn’t quite ready to leave yet though so Annika slept in her lap while Gramme chatted some more with her friends. When Gramme was finally ready to leave I took James from Rachel and rounded up a couple cousins (strapping young men Ryan W and Matt R) to walk us back to the hotel. Ryan carried Annika for Gramme. What sweet guys! They even walked us right up to our room, stayed there while I got the kids settled (Jamesy was up crying for me when we left but Gramme assures me he only wimpered for another minute or two and then settled back down to sleep.) and then walked me back to the reception. I’m loving them both!
Now with both kids back at the hotel with Gramme, I could keep celebrating! I danced and danced and danced. I even got Kris out on the dance floor. Admittedly that’s not that hard to do when he’s had a couple drinks. When we were finally kicked out of the reception (What? Last call? No more music?) we all went back to the hotel bar for some more celebrating. A couple of my cousins had ordered pizza. There was a pool table. There was more alcohol flowing. I guess my family wasn’t done partying yet! I hit my wall at 2am and went to bed. I was tired. Kris? Grandpa? Mathias? Not them! Kris didn’t come to bed until 3:30am!
Let’s just say that at the 10am gift opening the next morning there were some tired people! The coffee was in high demand. The kids were well enough rested though. I heard them up around 8:30am so that’s when I got up too. At the gift opening they had fun playing with Gramme and Uncle Mathias. Krystle and Pierce received some very nice gifts and the rest of us had fun looking through all the photobooth pictures. After the gift opening Annika went home with Gramme. She got a nice fun afternoon with lots of one on one attention. James did too but with Daddy. I laid down for a quick nap! It wasn’t too long though because we had another party to attend!
With my aunt and uncle and cousins in town from North Carolina for the week, we had another family party Sunday afternoon so we could all spend more time with them. We picked up Annika on the way there and then the kids had even more fun. My aunt had rented a giant bounce house for all the kids. I think Annika spent about the next 5 hours jumping in that thing. She came out every so often to play on the swingset or get a drink but then she went right back in. I spent my time eating (way too much!) and socializing. I was too wiped from the weekend though so I mainly parked my butt and let people come to me. Heh. My one activity for the afternoon was a game of bean bag toss with my brother. It was Kris and Mathias against myself and my cousin Grant. I was talking trash, telling my brother I was going to beat him and then I did! Hee! He took that in stride – not letting me hug him congratulations after the game and then laughed at me and my silly antics as I went inside for more food. And sitting. Of course. It was a fun evening.
Monday was our wedding anniversary. Happy 7 years baby! Since the weekend was so jam packed I took Monday off from work so Kris and I could spend some time together. He got up early and went in to work so we could have our afternoon and evening free. The kids slept in late (thank you!) and then we slowly got ourselves ready for the day. Krystle and Pierce stopped over with Bailey (we’re puppy sitting this week while they’re honeymooning) and then the kids and I headed out. Uncle Dale and Auntie Shelly graciously offered to babysit that day for us (as did Gramme and Grandpa) so Kris and I could have some couple time. I dropped the kids off at their house (I could literally open the door and shove them out and they’d be happy. I walked them in the door and James took off with Dale and Annika took off with Shelly. They could care less if I was still there or not. I at least got a good bye kiss from Annika. James literally disappeared downstairs to the toys.) and then headed for the airport. I had big sister duties! Mathias had rented a 2009 Camara for the weekend and had to bring it back to the rental car place. I met him there and picked him up and drove him back out to Dad’s house. Not only was this a nice thing to do (nothing is ever 100% altruistic) but I got some great one on one time with Mathias! Win! We talked about money, life, jobs, etc. It was great.
As I was driving back home from Dad’s house Kris called from work. He had more to do than he’d thought! I ran home to let the dogs out and then picked Kris up from work. We went to Big Bowl for lunch (Kris had never been there before – it was good!) and then back to Kris’s work. He had another 1/2 hour or so to go. I hung out at his desk and checked my e-mail. Heh. By this time it was 3pm! He had put in almost a full day! Instead of seeing a movie as was originally planned we went home and enjoyed the quiet. We watched the Tour de France (Go Team Astana! Lance! Levi – poor Levi! Go George Hincapie – not team Astana but overall good guy and great racer!) and played Trivial Pursuit. I won. Again. I was on a roll this weekend!. Heh.
Then I went and picked up the kids and we had a family night together.
I started writing this blog entry on Monday. It’s not Thursday and I think I’ve gone on long enough. If you’ve made it this far – thank you! Coming up is our annual BBQ on Saturday, another family party on Friday night and another family party on Sunday (this time it’s Kris’ family!). We are not slowing down around here!